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Saudi Arabian new passport rules comes into force

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Saudi Arabia has begun enforcing regulations that allow women over the age of 21 to apply for a passport and travel abroad without the consent of a male guardian, from August 20.

The policy change, announced earlier this month, aims to improve the care system, which has long been viewed as an oppression against women.

“The Passport Department has begun receiving applications from women 21 years of age and older to obtain or renew their passports, to allow them to travel abroad without the permission of the guardian,” the department said on Twitter.

Previously, women in Saudi Arabia had to obtain permission from their male guardian, whether it was a husband, father or family member, to apply for a passport, a rule that attracted international attention.

It was followed by several high-profile attempts by women to escape abuses under the care system, despite numerous updates by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including a decree issued last year to abolish women’s driving ban.

In addition, in an announcement earlier this month, women in Saudi Arabia were also formally registered to give birth, marriage and divorce, and were recognized as guardians of minors, such as those granted to men.

Read also: Saudi women allowed to travel without the guardian

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